Mobilemag.com reports: "Amazon.com, the giant online purveyor of just about everything on earth, says that iPod chargers sell better than Zune."
There has been much written about the Zune music player from --- . (I'd've written "Microsoft," but the company didn't put its name on the player, it's that embarrassed by the relabeled Toshiba product.)
When the convicted monopolist can't impose its poorly-written software on the masses, it is unable to compete. This year's examples include:
- the failure of its search engine, whose market share continues on a steady decline -- an amazing feat, considering it is the default search engine on 96% of all computers. The reason? When people think of searching the Internet, they think "Google," which has become the kleenex and xerox of search.
- the failure of the Origami, a mini-PC that manages to be too large and too small at the same time.
- the impending failure of Zune, a music player that's so identical to the iPod in pricing and so similar features that there is no reason to consider it.
These failures result from "We Can Do That, Too" thinking, instead of "What Would Make My Life Better?" thinking. That's not surprising from a company whose primary output is corrupting the definition of "innovation."
"We're #2! We're #2!"
Microsoft PR provided me with a brief smile this week in its desperate "The are no Americans in Bagdad" moment in attempting to shore up against the negative perception of Zune. Articles were planted claiming it was the #2 seller. (At the same time, other articles were issued that proclaimed the unreliability of the iPod: Most break down after the one-year warranty expires, according to the Canadian Press.)
The fine print noted, however, that it was #2 for just the first four days of sales, when you naturally expect an initial sales spike from pent-up demand, as little as it might be. There were these breathes of relief:
- Todd Bishop of Seattle PI newspaper: "Zune debuts at No. 2 — After a bunch of negative reviews..."
- David Hunter of Microsoft News Tracker: "Zune edges SanDisk in 1st week sales."
- Nathan Weinberg of InsideMicrosoft: "Zune A Success, Amazingly!"
I acknowledge that Bishop notes at the end of his article that "Zune sales were still less than the combined sales of PlaysForSure devices." I trust that Microsoft's abandoning of its PlaysForSure clients will come back to haunt it as firms finally learn -- above all other things -- to distrust the monopolist.